July 2011

Loose Connections 2 - The Coat Hanger (Extract)

By - David Sansom (Member No. 280)

Hanger1For as long as I can remember I have had, in my wardrobe, a wooden coat hanger. Hardly unusual you may think, isn’t a wardrobe where most people keep a collection of coat hangers?

This coat hanger is however a bit special. It has affixed to it a thin, rigid plastic label reading: “Charkham - Civil & Military Tailor”. I have always felt that this very ordinary object was akin to a family heirloom and over the years have used it only for my ‘best’ suits or jackets.

A couple of years ago, when I first became involved in our Family History, I tried to track down the company ‘Charkham’ but with no success. Recently however I decided to approach my quest in a different way, by researching the surname Charkham. What emerged was a fascinating story.

In the late 1890’s a Russian Jew by the name of Morris Charkham brought his family from the Ukraine to England. It is thought that America was their intended destination but they ended up in the East End of London,



Royston and District Family History Society